Knowing when and how to serve wine, as well as the best ways of preserving left over wine should be important to any lover of wine. The wine glass is a key part of the entire wine tasting experience. Although there are certain shapes for certain wines, the main thing to avoid when choosing glasses is non-clear, or tinted, glass. The clarity of the glass allows the full color of the wine to be admired. For beginners, the two basic styles to start out with involve the classic red wine glass and the Champagne glass. The classic red wine glass has a wide bowl that makes it easy for the aromas of the wine to come through. This is a good choice for many different varieties of table wine including port and sherry. The Champagne, or sparkling wine glass has a narrow shape that prevents the bubbles from escaping too quickly and preserves the aroma of the wine.
Other traditional glasses include the white wine glass, which is a slightly smaller version of the red wine glass because white wine aromas aren't typically as strong as red wine aromas. Wines that absolve of their bouquets more quickly, such as Burgundys and Pino Noirs, are traditionally served in a glass with a wider bowl and tapered sides. This allows maximum enjoyment of all aromas. The Red Bordeaux glass is one of the largest and has tapered sides whereas the port glass is small and tapered. Port is fortified and therefore, is not typically served in such large quantities. The sherry glass, or copita, is smaller than the port and is narrower with less tapering at the sides. It is easier to know how much to fill a glass when the traditional glasses are used in accordance with their wines. However, a wine glass should almost always be filled about two-thirds full. Champagne and sparkling wine flutes can be filled nearly to the top whereas wine tasting soirees usually involve glasses that are only one thirds full. The International Standards Organization developed their own wine glass for tasting known as the "ISO." This large bowled, yet thin glass with fairly straight sides makes enjoying the full range of aromas in any wine easy.
Cleaning and storing wine glasses can be tricky. It is important to always wash, rinse and dry the glasses carefully in order to make sure foreign smells and residues do not make their way into your next wine tasting experience. Using detergent is not recommended as even tiny traces of detergent can ruin a good sparkling wine. Storing glasses in a closed cupboard standing upright is the best way to keep musty odors from settling into the bowl.